How to Select an Interior Designer School near Fillmore California
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Fillmore CA, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But just where do you begin? Some future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator in Fillmore CA if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Fillmore CA often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, Fillmore CA designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design in Fillmore CA that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Fillmore CA.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at many Fillmore CA area vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no Fillmore CA area interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your Fillmore CA area school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Fillmore CA employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some states do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those states calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Fillmore CA college you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Fillmore CA area business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. Many of Fillmore CA area interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Fillmore CA colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the Fillmore CA interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Fillmore CaliforniaChoosing the right interior design school is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to recieve an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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